Saturday, November 26, 2011

Reading list for Aug, Sept,Oct and Nov 2011

AsSalaam wrh. wbt. and a splendid early morning,

Apart from struggling to put together a much needed effort to continuously update my blog, apparently I also have a tendency to buy first, justifications later policy when it comes to buying books or reading materials.

So,out of pure single-mindedness and guilt-free entry, these are the books that I'm currently sinking my teeth into, quite literally at times! Her goes nothing :-

1) Football-Bloody Hell : The Biography of Alex Ferguson by Patrick Barclay. Done reading it, am currently re-reading a few chapters on Sir Alex's Aberdeen days. Oh, I think I don't like Patrick Barclay, don't ask... it's about his tweets on David De Gea :-)

2) The Football Men by Simon Kuper. Done reading it, but can't put the book down for too long...filled with priceless snippets and valuable insights on the footballing men we know, adore and love so much.

3) The Blizzard : Issue One edited by Jonathan Wilson. Done reading it, hope to emulate the sheer brilliance of it all. I heart football journalism !!!

4) RED : My Autobiography by Gary Neville. Done reading it, will read again if possible but honestly I expected more from Gary.

5) Soccer Against The Enemy by Simon Kuper. Currently reading it, have to skip a few chapters as I browse through simply because can't wait for the part where the names of the teams and players are more familiar... got it for RM8.00 at the Big Bad Wolf book fair recently.

6) Batman : Year One by Frank Miller, David Mazzucchelli and Richmond Lewis. Okay, okay so this is not strictly a 'book' per se but hey I did mentioned 'reading materials' earlier on right! Done reading at first attempt, "...a shadow fell across me, from above. Wings flapped, close by and almost silent. "

7) Soccernomics by Simon Kuper and Stefan Szymanski. Haven't started, don't know when I'll actually start but as per policy, buy first, explain to the wife later ;-)

December is but a few days away and already I'm thinking about a few more titles that have caught my attention. Now where did I put my trusted 'tabung buluh'...

Thanks and ciao !

Friday, August 19, 2011

Paul Scholes, he scores goals...(2)

AsSalamu'alaikum wrh. wbt. and hola everyone!

Every now and then, I suppose someone or something would just put a big, fat, teethy and gleeful smile on your face...I know I am, plus positively sure that I put on the biggest grin of the day when I got to know that Inside United published a 'double cover' issue to commemorate Scholesy's retirement! *shrieks*

The cover shows Scholesy in all his glory -in painting- and in full flight while smashing in THAT goal against FC Barcelona at Old Trafford in the UEFA Champions League semi-final second leg match. There's another shot of this famous goal that took United to the final in Moscow 2008 that I really really liked, if you've seen it, it's the one where Lionel Messi was in the background of the picture looking intently at Scholesy's technique and execution! If I remember it correctly, the ball wasn't even a pass from a United teammate, a loose ball that was moving all over the place and Scholesy just hammered it past a hapless Victor Valdes, but hey don't take my word for it, head on to and have a closer look peeps...

Here's a look into the content of this special section which I may add here looks a bit 'hastily done' by the mag's editorial team, but my guess is as good as anyone's, that this special section is only some sort of a prequel before a full-blown-all-exclusive-tell-all-no-holds-barred special edition mag of Paul Scholes! *pengsan*

This here are a few pages dedicated to Scholesy's brilliance in the United shirt, 10 of his best games picked and chosen before being relived in err... blushing pink!!! *say what!!?pfft*

Oh ya, I got to know another fun fact about Scholesy...he used to wear the evergreen, much loved, classic and legend-wait for it-ary Adidas football boot, World Cup! No, seriously, that's the name of the boot guys, it's called World Cup for real, of course not to be confused with its not-so-evil twin, the Copa Mundial which is equipped with a full 12 studs instead of the 6 on the other. I can understand the popularity and of course quality of the Adidas World Cup boot at the time was enormous, but dear Scholesy, why you wanna change to those pesky Pony football boots after that? Aiya, you ah...sometimes you really like to make my blood go upstairs lah, and don't make me start on your tackling! *shhhh...*

to top it all off, a Scholesy book will come out !!! I don't actually know when but rest assured, for all the 'Ginger Ninja' fans out there you can pre-order from or at any other major online book retailers...yippee! just to get your freak on, it is "the first and only book by one of the greatest players of all time" heh, eat your heart out Theo Walcott!

ahhh...I missed him already *tsk,tsk,tsk* did any of you guys see him at The Hawthorns? the United bench looks quite peculiar without him, what more the United team on the pitch but I've said this before and I'll say this again, Scholesy, you're a GENIUS !

Wassalam guys and ciao !

Friday, August 12, 2011

La Masia and De Toekomst

AsSalamu'alaikum wrh. wbt. and a splendid evening readers,

Most of us, football fans don't really know or bother to care about La Masia de Can Planes do we...? How about De Toekomst...? Now, comparing these two places or shall I say 'institutions' is missing the whole point altogether but what's interesting is that Johann Cryuff had a hand in setting up and envisioning these two famed hallowed venues.

Admittedly, Cryuff was always one of those footballing icon that I considered too 'old school' for me to remember or even liked but one little thing that I knew of him -Cryuff's turn - proved to be more than sufficient to make him one of the truly greats that ever graced a football field.

Halfway through my reading of The Football Men by Simon Kuper (I just had to postpone reading it because of we moved out of the apartment), I was completely hooked on Cryuff's chapter (more about Kuper's book in other entries,insya-Allah ;-)) and there I was reading page after page and can only come out with one conclusion, Cryuff is a one off.

Everybody knows he's a genius, that he's a joy to watch while he was playing whether in real life or through the small screens of YouTube videos but what impressed me most about Cryuff is that he certainly has an opinion or two or three on everything, and I mean EVERYTHING. Although he's quite infamous in a way that people always seem to get the quirkiest of quotes out of him but that's exactly why I said he's a one off, meaning there'll be no other footballer quite like him.

Coming back to La Masia and De Toekomst earlier on, it was Cryuff who persuaded the then FC Barcelona president, Josep Nunez to adopt the youth-centered approach because Cryuff himself was one of De Tomkoest's earliest success stories. Note the determination and persuasive nature of Cryuff in looking forward to youth's potential and nurturing them to play in a certain way from an early age.You guys can go and read a whole lot more about La Masia here and here because apparently, La Masia will be getting a new home as it says goodbye to the old one.

Though not as famous as FC Barcelona's youth set up in terms of location or facilities, AFC Ajax Amsterdam's youth academy prestige is second to none and a quick look at its list of alumnus proves to be the case. If FC Barcelona can claim Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta as their 'products', just don't forget Edgar Davids, Wesley Sneijder or Rafael Van De Vaart were also once the marquee players of AFC Ajax Amsterdam.

I remember reading about the England's FA youth set up, the Lilleshall School of Excellence once but got to know that it has been turned into a National Sports Center or something...if my memory serves me well, Michael Owen and Wesley Brown were there as apprentices at one time.

Food for thought, I've been reading around Rizal Hashim's blog and loved the nuggety behind-the-scenes stories that he shared about Malaysia's current football heroes. My take is that when you're on a first name basis with the players, plus your significant other is an insider of that closely knitted inner-circle, you ought to share a fair bit hahaha! Sekolah Sukan Bukit Jalil might not be anything close to La Masia or De Toekomst at the moment, not in our wildest dreams but as Cryuff has once proven, soon enough it might just be our turn!

*picture of Johann Cryuff nicked from FC Barcelona's official website.

Good night and ciao !

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Paul Scholes, he scores goals...

AsSalaamu'alaikum wrh. wbt. dan hola rakan-rakan !

Sedang asyik melayari internet sementara menunggu mata mengantuk, saya kembali segar apabila terbaca tentang perlawanan seterusnya yang akan diharungi oleh pasukan Manchester United.Perlawanan khas yang juga merupakan perlawanan 'testimonial' ('testimonial match' adalah satu perlawanan mengiktiraf jasa dan perkhidmatan yang telah diberikan oleh seseorang pemain bola sepak kepada sesebuah kelab, bagi tempoh lebih kurang 10 tahun dan biasanya sebuah perlawanan yang tidak kompetitif) buat Paul Scholes di mana Manchester United akan menentang pasukan francais Liga Bola Sepak Major, Amerika Syarikat yang diberi 'nafas baru' iaitu New York Cosmos

Apa yang membuatkan saya terkesan adalah Paul Scholes sendiri! Saya mengetahui pasti suatu masa Scholesy, seperti juga rakan-rakan seangkatan dengannya di era 'The Fergie Fledglings' bersama Beckham, Giggs, Neville bersaudara, dan Butt akan bersara, tetapi bukan secepat ini...ya betul, Gary Neville sudah membuat keputusan beliau namun secara peribadi saya masih merasakan Scholesy boleh bertahan sekurang-kurangnya satu musim lagi bersaing dengan bakat-bakat jauh lebih muda dan bertenaga di kancah Liga Perdana Barclays.

Paul Scholes adalah pemain bola sepak antarabangsa yang pertama saya minati dan paling saya kagumi, seklise mana pun pernyataan saya yang berikutnya, saya tetap mahu mengatakan yang bilik saya dipenuhi dengan poster-poster pemain Manchester United dan yang mendapat tempat paling strategik untuk dilekatkan adalah poster Scholesy, biasanya pada dinding bersebelahan katil atau pun pada dinding betul-betul di atas meja ulang kaji.

Saya rasakan tidak perlu untuk saya bersusah payah mengulangi statistik dan pencapaian Scholesy sepanjang dia beraksi untuk kelab dan negara, memadai saya nyatakan saya cukup mengaguminya kerana 2 perkara. Pertama, Scholesy adalah seorang pesakit asma dan mempunyai kondisi lelah namun dia telah membuktikan betapa itu bukan halangan untuk berjaya. Kedua, bentuk fizikal yang dimilikinya juga dianggap terlalu kecil dan pendek untuk berjaya sebagai seorang pemain bola sepak professional tetapi sekali lagi Scholesy mempamerkan semangat juangnya. Kualiti-kualiti seperti ini yang agaknya boleh menjadi pembakar semangat buat mereka yang kepingin menjadi pemain bola sepak jagoan!

Kepada pembaca yang turut sama membesar seperti saya pada lewat tahun 90'an dan pada waktu awal kedatangan capaian internet dan perkhidmatan e-mel dulu, tentunya anda pernah terjebak dalam kegilaan menggunakan nama-nama idola anda sebagai alamat e-mel, antara contoh yang saya boleh beri supaya sama-sama boleh mengimbau kenangan dahulu ialah ataupun semua ini contoh ya! Selamat untuk mengakuinya, saya pun ada alamat e-mel seumpama itu yang masih saya gunakan sehingga hari ini iaitu

Saya harap pembaca tidak jengkel dengan nama panggilan "Scholesy" yang saya guna pakai kerana sejujurnya saya selesa, memang banyak lagi nama jolokan yang lain seperti "The Ginger Ninja" saya agak kerana warna rambutnya, "The Artful Dodger" mungkin kerana 'style' permainannya yang licik dan berkesan, "The Pocket Dynamite" diberi oleh bekas jurulatih bangsa asing pertama England, Sven Goran Eriksson. Terbaharu yang saya ketahui ialah "SatNav" setelah membaca salah satu tweet daripada Rio Ferdinand, dan ini pembaca mesti tahu kenapa, tentunya kerana hantaran dan umpanan tepat yang sering dilakukan oleh Scholesy seolah-olah mempunyai ketepatan setaraf teknologi GPS jenama SatNav itu sendiri! Itu Paul Scholes yang rakan sepasukannya kenali dan menyaksikan sendiri ke'sifu'annya setiap hari di padang latihan.

Antara lain, saya dan rakan-rakan sekelas sewaktu di sekolah dulu pernah membuat sekeping poster mini tribute kepada pemain-pemain kegemaran masing-masing hanya dengan menggunakan sehelai kertas berwarna bersaiz A4 dan keratan-keratan surat khabar sebelum di'laminate'kan agar ia nampak menarik dan tahan lasak!

Tentunya, saya mengabadikan Paul Scholes melalui secebis 'sticker' yang saya dapat secara percuma hasil pembelian majalah Shoot atau Match saya tidak ingat, tetapi istimewanya 'sticker' itu ialah kerana aksinya membuat larian 'celebration' sambil tersenyum girang setelah menjaringkan gol bagi pasukan England di Piala Dunia Perancis 1998 menentang Tunisia. Kalau anda perasan, ketika itu Scholesy masih bintang muda mendapat tajaan but bola sepak berjenama Pony sebelum disambar oleh Nike, syarikat jenama sukan gergasi dari Oregon, Amerika Syarikat.

Mungkin hati sedikit terubat kerana setelah mengumumkan persaraannya beberapa bulan lepas, Scholesy diserap menjadi sebahagian daripada sepasukan jurulatih yang akan membantu Sir Alex untuk memantapkan persediaan musim baru 2011/2012.

Yang pasti, Paul Scholes akan terus diingati oleh semua peminat bola sepak tidak kira anda penyokong Manchester United atau bukan. Saya sempat tampilkan tribute daripada pemain-pemain lain yang turut mengagumi dan pastinya akan merindui kelibat Paul Scholes !

Xavi : In the last 15 or 20 years the best central midfielder that I've seen - the most complete - is Scholes (Ini Xavi Hernandez daripada FC Barcelona tu yang cakap, kalau dia pun boleh panggil Scholesy 'complete' siapa lagi yang boleh pertikai)

Zinedine Zidane : My toughest opponent? Scholes of Manchester. He's the complete midfielder. (Zidane memang sejak dia main untuk Juventus lagi menjadi penggemar setia corak dan kebolehan Scholesy membaca permainan)

Juan Sebastian Veron (while at Chelsea FC, was asked who's the best English player,he answered) : Paul Scholes (sempat berganding bahu semasa 3 atau 4 tahun Veron beraksi di Old Trafford)

Roy Keane : An amazingly gifted player who remained an unaffected human being.(memang selalu sangat disebut-sebut bahawa barisan tengah pasukan Manchester United yang ada Giggs-Keane-Scholes-Beckham adalah yang terbaik pernah dibariskan!)

Edgar Davids : Every one of us (midfielders) is just trying to be as good as him. Everyone can learn from Paul Scholes. (Davids merupakan antara pemain bola sepak Belanda yang paling digeruni satuketika dulu)

Patrick Viera : The player in the Premiership I admire most? Easy - Paul Scholes. (Antara 'musuh' yang cukup mengagumi Scholesy)

Sekian dulu daripada saya, terima kasih kerana sudi membaca! Ciao !

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Ramadhan Kareem

AsSalaamu'alaikum wrh. wbt. dan salam sejahtera buat semua pembaca,

Jom sama-sama kita rafa'kan segala pujian buat Allah s.w.t kerana sekali lagi diberi kesempatan dan peluang untuk sama-sama menyambut ketibaan bulan Ramadhan yang penuh berkat... niat asal hati saya adalah untuk memberi sedikit 'suntikan' buat blog saya ini yang rasanya sudah hampir pasti mendapat jolokan b(logger) l(ambat) o(rganize) g(arapan) tidak lama lagi ;-)

Apa pun, 'suntikan' yang saya maksudkan tadi adalah dengan menampilkan beberapa gambar yang indah dan menarik tentang Ramadhan yang hendak saya petik daripada beberapa laman web. Seperti kebiasaannya, saya akan bermula dengan meminta bantuan Lebai Google melalui kitab 'Images'nya, ya betul carian dapat dihabiskan tidak sampai pun 5 saat tapi hasil yang keluar sepatutnya sudah saya jangka!

Hasil yang paling banyak dipamerkan adalah gambar-gambar gah iklan buffet Ramadhan di beberapa hotel terkemuka sekitar Lembah Kelang. Sedikit pengubahan terhadap susunan ayat di dalam kotak carian seterusnya membawa saya ke beberapa hasil carian yang lain. Saya cuba buat capaian di entri ini mana-mana yang sempat dan sekadar berkongsi, harapan saya kita sama-sama tingkatkan ibadah dan berusaha jadikan Ramadhan kali ini lebih baik daripada Ramadhan tahun lepas, insya-Allah...


gambar daripada

gambar daripada

Pembaca boleh melawat yang banyak menghimpunkan gambar-gambar dibawah opsyen forum bertajuk 'Ramadhan' yang dipetik daripada pelbagai agensi berita dan foto antarabangsa seperti Reuters, AFP, Getty Images dan sebagainya untuk tatapan.

Juga menarik, bagaimana laskar-laskar Perancis menyambut Ramadhan dan senarai periksa ringkas Ramadhan untuk kita agar ianya lebih berkualiti.

Sekian dulu para pembaca,selamat menjalani ibadah puasa, wassalam dan ciao !!!

Monday, April 4, 2011

FOCUS : intransitive verb

AsSalam wrh. wbt. and a very pleasant evening guys and gals,

The Macmillan English Dictionary for Advanced Learners : International Student Edition defined the verb, focus, as " to concentrate on something and pay particular attention to it ". Now these are exactly the things that we should do ! Concentrate and pay particular attention (no matter how difficult that will prove to be).

I will be the first one to admit that I don't have the ability of any sort to persuade or convince my dear readers (mythical creatures as far as my blog is concerned...) to agree with me with whatever I'm saying in my entries. I'll concede as well -through gritted teeth- that I'm as powerless as the next chap or chapette who wants his or her views to be heard by those who walk along the corridors of seemingly limitless power.

Nevertheless, I believe that I've at least made an take a stand, to hold on to something, and in these dire moments, only Allah s.w.t, the Most Merciful and the Most Gracious will help me.

So guys and gals, let's focus on these... if you just can spare a few minutes of your precious time and read up on these issues and more importantly, please get back to me through the commentaries section. So that we can exchange views and discuss them for a better and informed outlook, then that would be a benefit to all, I certainly think of it as a positive method, no?

I'm pretty sure that one of the biggest rare-earth plant in the world is about to start operation in Gebeng, Kuantan but does anyone even know what is it all about ? I got something on the Lynas thingy, do check out the so called 'green practices' of other Australian companies and a few read ups about the pollution it might cause and why we need to at least halt the proposed plant which I believe is already in an advanced stage.

Ehem, quote Jay-Z (yikes!) here goes :

"This is anti autotune, death of the ringtone,
This ain't for iTunes, this ain't for sing alongs
This is Sinatra at the opera, bring a blonde
Preferably with a fat ass who can sing a song
Wrong, this ain't politically correct
This might offend my political connects
My raps don't have melodies
This should make n****s wanna go and commit felonies"

To the uninitiated, that is more or less my disclaimer for the next few paras. I would really really love to know from my Sarawakian friends, what is the 'mood' like over there ? Have you guys read RadioFreeSarawak ? Or try to visit SarawakReport ? It has been going on and you know it will continue before your very eyes...You guys have it in you to go out there and make a change ! Yes, you can be sure that it won't be easy and even looks a tad impossible doesn't it ? Well, please know that was the general perception before March '08. Let the silly season commence...

Wassalaam and ciao !

Friday, April 1, 2011

By Allah s.w.t grace and mercy I'm still here...

AsSalaam wrh. wbt. friends and foes,

I have at least 3 drafts of entires in the 'edit posts' section of my 'Posting' tab in this blog hosting site that I'm so 'fond' of.

It will and shall remain that way unless or until I can summon whatever tiny weeny love of words that I still have inside of me coz, man..... it's becoming more and more of a joke !

If you must know, all of the drafts are about football *yawn...* or to be more specific, 1 of them is about Le Roi a.k.a Eric Cantona, another is about....oh well, look at the time peeps !

My point is, I believe I still need to reach a consistency level of posting or entries like the average bloggers before I can even think about getting noticed. Allah s.w.t grace and mercy I'm still here. Good luck to me !

In the meantime, here is my newly acquired friend, you might know him from somewhere but before you start asking, the answer is NO, come on you guys... of course Bruce Wayne won't be scouring iTunes for that Travie McCoy feat. Bruno Mars song.

'Coz he's already a friggin' billionaire !

Until next time, insya-Allah...